If you are like me then you feel that going to the mall is a drag, dealing with crowds is a major energy drain, and in-person research is too slow and cumbersome. However, if you like finding new products, creating a wish list, and sharing product recommendations with your friends, then you may enjoy Kaboodle, CrowdStorm, and/or Skimbit because they are online social networks for shopping and product research.
Kaboodle is all about managing and sharing your shopping lists for past, present, and future purchases. Kaboodle is really easy to use because you can add Kaboodle action buttons to the top of your web browser that make it super simple to add online products to one of your Kaboodle shopping lists. Specific Kaboodle things to do:
- Add your favorite products to your "Things I Can't Live Without" list
- Share your shopping lists with other like-minded shoppers by joining groups, starting your own groups, or inviting friends
- Add your desired products to your wish list and maybe one of your Kaboodle friends will buy it for you
- Add Kaboodle to your Facebook profile to share your shopping lists with your Facebook friends.
CrowdStorm is a platform for sharing product information with other people. CrowdStorm focuses on electronic products such as digital cameras, TVs, DVD players, video games, and computers. CrowdStorm does not provide browser action buttons so you have to do everything directly from their site. Specific CrowdStorm things to do:
- Ask trusted CrowdStorm users a question about a product
- Add your review of a product
- Browse other people's product reviews
Skimbit Shopping + Researching
Skimbit is an online platform for helping you make decisions and, specifically, in relation to the aforementioned sites can help you make a product purchasing decision. Similarly to Kaboodle, Skimbit provides browser action buttons to simplify the information collection process. Skimbit action items:
- Create a Skimbit project (i.e., a product you want to purchase)
- Click your "Skim this!" browser button while viewing any web page that contains information for the product you are thinking about purchasing
- Compare your web research findings side by side
- Invite your friends to help you decide
Social Network Shopping Summary
Kaboodle is the most effortless to use of the group of social network shopping sites and, thus, is the most fun to use. Specifically, while viewing a product page and after you finishing adding the product to one of your Kaboodle wish lists, it returns you to the exact web page you were viewing so you can resume your online shopping. Thus, you can easily browse shopping web sites and seamlessly add products to your Kaboodle shopping lists.
CrowdStorm and Skimbit are not concerned about shopping lists and more concerned with helping you find valuable and relevant product information. For both CrowdStorm and Skimbit, I experienced some bugs and broken pages so they may not be ready for you to try if you have limited time to spend online.
Two other shopping sites you might find useful for researching electronic products include Bountii.com and SmartRatings.com. Are there are other online social shopping networks I should check out?